It’s not hard to see why Siargao is emerging as one of the Philippines’ best destinations. The teardrop-shaped island is big on sights and awesome things to do such as surfing and wakeboarding that will put any adventure seeker on high. More recently, even well-known travel magazine Conde Nast Traveler has started to take notice of its beauty, with readers naming it as one of the Best Island in the World in 2019, and the outlet later including it on their list of best holiday destinations in 2020.
Because it’s virtually impossible to single out a reason why you should visit Siargao, we rounded up 10 things you will certainly love about the island:
Siargao is no longer an obscure destination in the country. Fairly popular among Filipinos and foreigners, it is well-visited all-year-round. As traveling by plane is the most convenient way to reach the island, Siargao’s own airport, Sayak Airport, is always abuzz with flights coming from Manila, Cebu, and Davao. However, some travelers visiting nearby areas may opt to fly to Surigao City then take the ferry to Siargao Island at Surigao Port, as this may be a more affordable route for certain itineraries.
Ease of Getting Around
At approximately 437 square kilometers, Siargao Island is considerably small in size, allowing for ease of getting around. Local public transportation includes the usual tricycles and jeepneys—both of which are widely available.
If commuting isn’t your strongest suit, you can contract a motorcycle (habal-habal) rider to take you wherever you have to go or borrow their vehicle for a period of time. If you’re traveling with a group, you may also opt to rent a multi-cab or a private vehicle like a car or van, so you can reach your destinations in comfort.
Alternatively, you may book a day tour—like this one that will take you to Magpupungko Rock Pool, Coconut Trees View, and Sub Lagoon and Maasin River—to maximize your visit.
Wide Range Of Accommodations
Whether you’re on a budget or in the mood to splurge for your island getaway, Siargao presents a great variety of accommodations for any type of traveler. Penny pinchers and social backpackers will love Siargao’s hip hostels and affordable homestay lodgings, while those who want a holiday in luxury can book a stay at high-end hotels and beach resorts that offer much exclusivity.
You might be surprised by just how incredibly hospitable the island locals are. They want you to enjoy your stay in the place they call home, and that shows in the way they interact with visitors—from giving free lifts on the road to giving best-kept secret tips to guarantee you a memorable trip. People greeting you with a smile wherever you go is a given.
If you think a small island like Siargao doesn’t have much to offer to your palate, you’re wrong. Its dining scene is jaw-droppingly diverse, with restaurants that feature international fare (from pasta and pizza to Thai-style curries) open side-by-side with local eateries to satisfy cravings. On your visit, don’t miss Mama’s Grill, where you can get the cheapest yet most filling barbecue grill experience. Feast on chicken and pork BBQ, grilled marlin, and the street food favorite isaw. Trust us when we say that your 500PHP will go a long way here.
The Surfing Scene
If there’s anything we can attribute Siargao’s rise to fame, it would be the island’s surfing scene. Boasting over 15 surf breaks, Siargao a.k.a. the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” is arguably one of the best-surfing destinations in the world. General Luna, where you will find the famous Cloud 9, is best visited from May to November, although the monsoon rains loom over from June onwards. Needless to say, timing your trip is crucial.
Is it your first time to try surfing? Learn the basics from a certified SISA member instructor in this surfing lesson fit for beginners!
Surfing isn’t the only thrilling activity you can try in Siargao! Because of its unique terrain, the island also has exciting cliff jumping spots for daredevils as well as a 100-meter wakeboarding park for those who can’t get enough of water sports. Really, the entire island is every adventurer’s dream.
Siargao’s beaches don’t trail far behind the country’s more popular beach destinations like Boracay and Palawan, with its powdery white sand that glimmer under the golden sun, cool deep blue waters, and idyllic palm trees. Island hopping tours will take you to the breathtaking beaches of Guyam, Daku, and Corregidor Island.
Amazing Natural Reserves
Relatively unspoiled, Siargao flaunts magnificent natural reserves that will stun any nature lover. Among the island’s most iconic nature reserves are Sugba Lagoon, Magpupungko Rock Pool, and Sohoton Cove.
Sugba Lagoon is a picturesque turquoise lagoon locked in an embrace by a mangrove forest. It’s an ideal spot for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. Magpupungko Rock Pool is a mystical sand beach that’s best known for its fascinating rock formations and tidal pools. The place is extra-scenic at sunrise. Sohoton Cove, is one of the few places on earth where you can swim with a smack of stingless jellyfish in a labyrinth-like pool.
Siargao is so not a sleepy island. While it’s rather laid-back, it sure isn’t boring either, especially at night. After trying all the activities and checking out all the places above, cap off your day at a bar or pub for the highlight of your evening. Enjoy a cold glass of beer or a sweet cocktail while you’re at it.
*Featured image by Dale de Vera on Shutterstock